US 3861033 A
A method of manufacturing connector of the composite sleeve type having an inner sleeve carrying a plurality of tangs for piercing insulation and engaging the metal wires of a plurality of electrical conductors inserted into the inner bore in the sleeve to interconnect the conductors responsive to a crimping of the connector, wherein the connector includes a liner of thin, filmlike material disposed within the bore in the inner sleeve opposite the distal ends of the tangs and the liner is retained in assembly with the connector by a reversely bent extension thereof which is sandwiched between the outer surface of the outermost metallic sleeve of the connector and the inner surface of the outer insulative jacket of the composite sleeve forming the connector.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[451 Jan. 21, 1975 174/87 29/450 Yonkers................................ 29/629 3,539,708 11/1970 DAscoli et 3 686,741 8/1972 Williams et a1... 3,781,985 l/l974 METHOD OF MANUFACTURING A CONNECTOR FOR INSULATED CONDUCTORS  Inventors: James H. Updyke, Pepperell; John Primary Examiner-C. W. Lanham Dalton Chelsea both of Mass Assistant ExaminerJames R. Duzan TRW Inc., Cleveland, Ohio June 26, 1973 ] Appl. No.: 373,695
 Assignee: Attorney, Agent, or Firm-James R. OConnor  Filed:
 ABSTRACT A method of manufacturing connector of the compos- Related US. Application Data Division of Ser. No. 312,008, Dec. 4, 1972, Pat. No. 3,784,731.
ite sleeve type having an inner sleeve carrying a plurality of tangs for piercing insulation and engaging the metal wires of a plurality of electrical conductors inserted into the inner bore in the sleeve to interconnect the conductors responsive to a crimping of the con-  US. 29/628, 29/203 R, 29/203 V,
29/630 A H011 43/00 174/93, 84 C, 84 S' nector, wherein the connector includes a liner of thin.
filmlike material-disposed within the bore in the inner  Field of Search...................
sleeve opposite the distal ends of the tangs and the 29/628, 629, 630 R, 203 R, 203 V, 235, 450; 53/198 R, 198 X liner is retained in assembly with the connector by a reversely bent extension thereof which is sandwiched between the outer surface of the outermost metallic sleeve of the connector and the inner surface of the 2,717,849 Rempel et 2,885,204 Kalbow........... 2,901,310 8/1959 STATION A 54 STATION B STATION C STATlON D STATION E PATENIEI] JAN 21 I975 sum 1 or 2 PATENT JMI 191s SHEEI 2 OF 2 i f mw METHOD OF MANUFACTURING A CONNECTOR FOR INSULATED CONDUCTORS This is a division, of application Ser. No. 312,008, filed Dec. 4, 1972, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,784,731.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The invention relates generally to the manufacture of electrical connectors of the kind and more specifically to the manufacture of crimp-type connectors of the kind frequently classified in U.S. Art Class 174, Subclass 87, entitled, Conduits, Cables and Conductors With Joints Angular. Such methods of manufacture would likely be classified in Art Class 29, Subclass 628, entitled Processes of Mechanical Manufacture Electrical Devices Joining Conductor to Terminal or other Conductor.
2. Description of the Prior Art A method of manufacturing an electrical connector of the composite sleeve type having an outer jacket of insulating material, a pair of telescopically disposed metallic sleeves positioned within said jacket, and a liner having a portion thereof disposed within the inner of said metallic sleeves and an extension of said portion disposed between the outer of said metallic sleeves and the jacket comprising: (1) providing a die having a vertically extending elongated post, said post having a width less than the width of the central bore in said inner metallic sleeve; (2) providing an open ended tube of electrical insulating material of predetermined length and placing said tube on said die such that said elongated post is disposed within said tube substantially coaxially therewith; (3) placing a strip of electrically nonconductive, thin, filmlike material over the upper end of said tube such that the longer axis of said strip lies substantially transverse the longitudinal axis of the tube; (4) inserting said telescopically disposed metallic sleeves, open end leading, into said tube, whereby said strip is carried down into said tube and engaged by the upper end of said post and a portion of said strip is carried by said post into said central bore in said inner metallic sleeve substantially to the full depth of said bore to form said liner and other portions of said strip are reversely bent around the leading end wall of said outer sleeve and directed toward the remote end of said sleeve between the outer wall thereof and the inner wall of said tube to form said extension of said liner; (5) shrinking said tube on said outer sleeve to form said jacket and sandwich said last above mentioned portions of said strip between said jacket and said outer metallic sleeve; and (6) removing said connector from said die.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The prior art relating to connectors per se of the gen- 7 eral type manufactured by the process disclosed herein is described in considerable detail in copending Application Ser. No. 312,008 filed Dec. 4, 1972 now U.S. Pat. No. 3,784,731. We are not aware of any prior art which discloses the connector structure of said copending application. Consequently, we are not aware of any prior art which would be particularly pertinent to the method of manufacturing said connector which is the subject of this disclosure. The present disclosure teaches the method of incorporating a conductor insertion facilitating liner during the process of assembling the other component parts of the composite sleeve of the connector and thus eliminates additional manufacturing operations to effect liner insertion subsequent to assembly of the other connector components. The manufacturing cost savings realized from the improved assembly process disclosed are substantial, and that significant advantage, as well as other contributions to the art, will become readily apparent to one who proceeds to a consideration of the detailed description of the connector and process for producing same which follows hereinafter.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. I is an enlarged, exploded, perspective view of the four major component parts of a connector manufactured by the process of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a greatly enlarged, partially broken away, transverse cross-sectional view of a connector manufactured by the process of invention;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged, elevational perspective view of a connector manufactured by the process of the invention;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the connector taken on line 44 of FIG. 3 with the inboard leg forming the liner partially broken away;
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the connector taken on line 5-5 of FIG. 3 and depicting the connector crimped to a pair of insulated electrical conductors disposed therein;
FIG. 6 is a cross section taken on line 6-6 of FIG. 5; and
FIG. 7 is a schematic view of an apparatus for carrying out the process of manufacturing the connector depicted in FIG. 1 through 6.
DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT With reference, in particular, to FIGS. 1 through 6 of the drawing, one will observe that a connector manufactured the process of according to the invention comprises a composite sleeve structure including four major component parts, three of which are well known in the art, to wit: a first or inner metallic sleeve 2; a second or outer metallic sleeve 4; an outer jacket 6; and an inner liner 8.
The inner sleeve 2 is formed from a hard, springlike material, e.g., a spring tempered phosphor bronze and is relatively thinner and shorter than the outer metallic sleeve 4. The inner sleeve is open at both ends 10 and 12 thereof and is slightly necked inwardly at 14 and 16 adjacent said open ends. The body of said inner sleeve is provided with a plurality of randomly spaced perforations 18 defining a plurality of tangs or protuberances 20 sheared from the sleeve incident to the blanking out of said perforations and directed into the central bore 22 in said sleeve. The inboard edge of each of said perforations is thus defined by a plurality of said protuberances 20 and each protuberance is sharply pointed and provided with leading knife-like edges for piercing the insulation on a conductor and engaging the metal wire of a conductor as will be described further hereinafter.
The outer metallic sleeve 4 is formed from a soft, relatively malleable material, e.g., annealed brass, and is open at one end 24 and closed at its opposite end 26.
Both of the metallic sleeves are of generally elliptical or oval transverse cross-sectional configuration (see FIG. 6 in particular) and the inner sleeve is diametrically somewhat smaller than the outer sleeve to permit telescopic assembly of the former within the latter. The relative dimensions of the sleeves are selected so that the inner sleeve is press fitted within the outer sleeve to inhibit any longitudinal shifting of one sleeve with respect to the other. If desired, the inner sleeve may be provided with external bosses to enhance the tightness of the press fit assembly or some other interlocking fastener means, e.g., that depicted in US. Pat. No. 3,283,016 (P.O. Bolling) may be employed.
The liner 8, which is formed from a strip of thin, filmlike tape, ideally polyester tape marketed by du Pont under the trade name Mylar, includes a first or inboard section 28 disposed within the central bore 22 in the inner metallic sleeve, said first section being defined by opposed legs 30 gradually converging from the open end of the outer metallic liner to an integral connecting web 32 disposed adjacent the closed end 26 of said outer liner, and a second or outboard section 34 formed as an integral extension of said inboard section and defined by a pair of reversely bent wings 36 which are curled over the end wall of the sleeve 4 at the open end 24 thereof and extend back along the outer wall of said sleeve toward the closed end thereof and terminate in free ends 38 disposed relatively proximate said closed end. The inboard section 28, or more specifically legs 30 of the liner are pinched slightly inwardly toward the axis of the central bore and lightly bitingly gripped by the ends of some of the protuberances 20 as is best seen in FIG. 2, and the liner is stretched or held tautly in assembly with the connector by the fourth major component, to wit, the jacket 6 which is heat shrunk about the outer sleeve 4 and thus sandwiches the extension or wings 36 between the outer wall of said sleeve and its, i.e., the jackets, inner wall.
The outer jacket 6 is formed from a heat shrinkable, synthetic plastic material, e.g., a polyolefin resin, and generally assumes the contour of the outer sleeve 4 but protrudes endwise beyond said sleeve and is severely pinched inwardly at 40 adjacent the closed end 26 of said sleeve. Further, the jacket is necked slightly inwardly at 42 and then flares outwardly to its open end 44 to provide a funnel-like entry portion 46 which facilitates insertion of conductors to be spliced into the central bore in the connector.
A connector of the type disclosed herein is typically utilized as depicted in FIG. to splice together and electrically interconnect a pair or more of insulated electrical conductors 48 which are axially inserted into the connector through the open end 44 of the composite sleeve. The previously described funnel-like extension 46 of the outer jacket 6 provides a convenient lead-in to the central bore in the connector and the inboard section, i.e., the inwardly converging legs 30 of the liner 8 which overlie the distal ends of the tangs or protuberances 20, facilitate unimpeded full depth insertion of the conductors into the connector, as is again best depicted in FIG. 5. Once the conductors are fully seated, the connector is crimped by applying a force on the outer jacket under the pressure of the dies of a suitable crimping tool to crush the metallic liners thereby causing the protuberances to perforate the liner 8 and pierce the insulation 50 on the conductors 48 and engage the metal wire 52 of the conductors with a sliding, biting action to thereby securely grip the conductors and effect the requisite electrical connection.
Referring once again to FIG. 5, the reader will appreciate that even if the opposed faces of the crimping dies are tapered angularly toward the rear of the connector, so that maximum crushing action is achieved adjacent the connectors closed end 26, the liner 8 by greatly facilitating full depth conductor insertion substantially reduces the possibility of a defective connection which would otherwise occur if the conductors, in the absence of the liner, became snagged or hung up on protuberances adjacent the open end of the connector and were thus not inserted to the full depth of the sleeves. Frequently, in a typical communications installation, a splice is made by a lineman first cutting two parallel conductors to form four conductor ends and then inserting said ends in matched pairs into a pair of connectors and crimping the latter to complete the splicing operation. To facilitate the linemans chore, it has been found convenient to the industry to tape connectors in distinctly defined pairs, e.g., as is shown in US. Pat. No. 3,625,350 (J. C. Ray) but with an upper reach of tape as well as the lower reach Ray depicts securing the connectors in said distinctly spaced pairs. The disclosed connector is fully conducive to being double layer taped as aforesaid. Further, the taped connectors are fed from reels to automatic crimping devices so that the lineman is often working blind so to speak and he must rely on feel rather than sight to determine if the matching conductor ends to be spliced are fully seated in the pair of adjacent connectors. Obviously, the incorporation of the disclosed liner 8 which is held in a taut condition, greatly reduces the margin for lineman error in effecting splices in the manner aforesaid. It should also be observed that the incorporation of the liner 8 into the connector does not in any way alter the basic external configuration of the connector. Thus the connector may be fed to automatic taping machinery utilizing existing apparatus as conveniently as the presently used commercial connectors.
In FIG. 7, there is depicted the method of manufacturing the connector heretofore described in conjunction with the schematically illustrated components of an apparatus for carrying out the method. The illustrated die carrying member 54 is representative of an incrementally indexable platen. Fixed to the platen at selectively spaced intervals are a plurality of dies 56. For a convenient reference in this description the individual dies are designated as being located at stations A through E. Each of the dies includes a base or lower section 58, an intermediate frustoconically shaped section 60, and an upper section in the form of a thin, elongated, oval shaped pin or post 62. Mounted above the dies 56 is a reel 64 which dispenses a continuous strip of Mylar type from a roll of predetermined width.
Plastic tubes 68 of a selected length from which the outer jacket of the connector is formed are placed on the dies 56 at station A either automatically or by hand and the tubes so supported pass, responsive to incremental movement of the platen 54, beneath a horizontal strip 70 of the Mylar tape drawn from the roll and initially held at its free end by hand or some other convenient means in a tautly stretched condition. The horizontal reach of the tape strip is drawn out to overlie the dies 56 and tubes 68 at stations B and C and extend approximately half the distance between stations C and D. Thereafter at station C, a subassembly of the telescopically disposed inner and outer metallic sleeves 2 and 4 is urged, open end leading, against the tape strip and forced downwardly into the tube 68 at said station. As the sleeve subassembly descends, the central portion of the tape strip is engaged by the upper end of the post 62 and carried into the central bore 22 in the sleeves, and other portions of the tape are directed around the end wall of the outer sleeve and rearwardly so to speak along its side walls. The sleeve subassembly is carried in the chuck of a descending upper tool head (not shown) and the sleeves are initially forced downwardly to a point where they substantially envelope half of the length of the post 62. The said upper tool head is then retracted and the platen 54 is indexed to the right to move the dies at stations B and C to stations C and D, respectively. During this transfer, additional tape is unreeled and carried to the right by reason of the sleeve subassembly holding the tape on the indexing die post. When the rightwardly advancing platen is next brought to rest, the upper tool head assembly redescends and a plunger (not shown) located above station D descends and forces the sleeve assembly downwardly until the leading end of the outer sleeve 4 bottoms on the upper surface of the intermediate die section 60 and the upper end of the post 62 engages the closed end wall of said sleeve. Simultaneously, a knife carried by the aforementioned plunger head cuts the tape, and the next sleeve subassembly is being inserted into the tube present at station C. Thus, one can readily envision that the process is subject to being fully automated and that once the tape has been drawn out and held for the first sleeve insertion, the succeeding sleeves hold the tape in a taut condition and carry it from station C to D responsive to platen movement. Once the tape is cut, and the liner 8 and its reversely bent wings forming the extension thereof have been formed at station D, the subsequent incremental advance of the platen moves the connector to station C within oven 72 where the tube is heat shrunk to provide the outer jacket 6 and sandwich the wings 36 forming the liner extension between said jacket and the outer metallic sleeve. One will observe that the lower end of the plastic tubing shrinks about the frustoconical intermediate die portion 60 to provide the funnel-like end 46 of the jacket earlier described. Further advancing of the platen of course moves the fully formed connector at station E out of the oven and the connector is then removed from the die and packaged for shipment or alternatively deposited in a hopper for feeding to an automatic machine for taping connectors in distinctly defined pairs. One will of course appreciate that the indexing of the platen may be timed to insure that the connector at station E remains in the oven for a time period sufficient to effect the requisite heat shrinking or alternatively that the oven be enlarged so that connectors at station E and several stations therebeyond are simultaneously disposed in the oven.
1. A method of manufacturing an electrical connector of the composite sleeve type having an outer jacket of insulating material, a pair of telescopically disposed metallic sleeves positioned within said jacket, and a liner having a portion thereof disposed within the inner of said metallic sleeves and an extension of said portion disposed between the outer of said metallic sleeves and the jacket comprising: l providing a die having a vertically extending elongated post, said post having a width less than the width of the central bore in said inner metallic sleeve; (2) providing an open ended tube of electrical insulating material of predetermined length and placing said tube on said die such that said elongated post is disposed within said tube substantially coaxially therewith; (3) placing a strip of electrically nonconductive, thin, filmlike material over the upper end of said tube such that the longer axis of said strip lies substantially transverse the longitudinal axis of the tube; (4) inserting said telescopically disposed metallic sleeves, open end leading, into said tube, whereby said strip is carried down into said tube and engaged by the upper end of said post and a portion of said strip is carried by said post into said central bore in said inner metallic sleeve substantially to the full depth of said bore to form said liner and other portions of said strip are reversely bent around the leading end wall of said outer sleeve and directed toward the remote end of said sleeve between the outer wall thereof and the inner wall of said tube to form said extension of said liner; (5) shrinking said tube on said outer sleeve to form said jacket and sandwich said last above mentioned portions of said strip between said jacket and said outer metallic sleeve; and (6) removing said connector from said die.
2. A method according to claim 1 wherein said strip of thin, filmlike material is drawn from a continuous roll of said material and severed to provide the requisite length of said material to form said liner and said extension of said liner during insertion of said sleeves into said tube.
3. A method according to claim 2 wherein said strip of thin, filmlike material is carried a substantial distance down into said tube and over said post while remaining connected to said continuous roll of said material and is severed from said roll to provide said requisite strip length during the final descent portion of said sleeves travel toward the lower portion of said die.
V UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE (CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION PATENT NO. 1 3,861,033 Y DATED January 21', 1975 INVENTOR(S) James H. Updyke et a].
It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shownbeiow: 1
Column 1, line 9, delete "of the kind. Column 1, lines 19 through 51, "A method diea" should be under the heading "SUMMARY oF THE INVENTION.
Column l, line 55 through column 2, line 9, "The'prior rt which follows hereinafter. should be under the heading "2. Description of the Prior Art" under "BACKGROUND OF from said THE INVENTION" Column 2, line 37, before "according" delete the process of"; after to insert --the process of-.
Signed and sealed this 20th day of May 1975,
C. MARSHALL DANN RUTH C. MASON Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks Attesting Officer